Advocacy Action Plan
Assessment Context: This assessment is used in the M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction program, the M.Ed. in Administration program, and the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership program. The assessment measures the candidate’s understanding and application of culturally responsive practices regarding classroom equity. The minimum cut score for this critical assessment is 131.5 points.
Note: This course includes this assignment as a critical assessment documenting your learning on the national standards listed below. Please see the course syllabus for further information on the critical assessment policy. It is important to review the materials below and the critical assessment rubric before you begin this assignment.
In this project, you will generate a five-part advocacy plan to ensure that your community of learners is fully supported and engaged in learning opportunities that meet their diverse, individual needs. Submit the following components:
Introduction: Setting the Stage
Set the stage by introducing your advocacy plan components with your classroom/teaching/professional context. This will include information on your learners’ backgrounds (e.g., race, culture, SES, language, special learning needs) as well as your geographic location. Also address any particularly “hot button” issues or current events in your local community that have the potential to inform your students’ classroom experiences (e.g., you live in an area where police/community relations are strained).
Part 1. The Educator’s Impact
- Section One: This section is comprised of your personal reflection on your life experiences that inform and impact your background that you bring with you to the classroom/educational setting. These topics will vary depending on who you are and where you live, but may include things like your race, your childhood experiences in school, your geographic location as a child or adult, your family’s history with schooling, and so on. Be sure to consider how these issues do or could impact your teaching/educational leadership and make these connections explicit for the reader. (9i InTASC)
- Section Two: Reflect on your own strengths and challenges as an educator committed to equality in the learning environment. What areas do you still need or want to learn more about to improve your practice with students/learners? Identify at least two resources or experiences that you need to have/use to address these gaps. Present a short rationale for your choices and your action plan to engage in that work. (9e InTASC)
Part 2. Educational Norms/Professional Interactions (3L InTASC)
One of the challenges in the classroom/educational setting can be effective communication that works well for a variety of learners and a variety of messages. One strategy to help you ensure that your communication strategies are responsive and supportive is to develop classroom/educational setting norms that can guide your work as a community of learners.
In this section, develop a set of norms for communication that are appropriate for the age/content that you teach or lead. Be sure to identify exactly how you believe these strategies support the context you described in the introduction to your advocacy action plan. Your choices need to be attentive to the cultural dynamics that are present in your classroom/setting.
Part 3: Peer-to-Peer Relationships (3o InTASC)
How do you model and encourage effective peer-to-peer relationships? Describe and explain how you will teach a strategy to your students that encourages relationships that are accepting and responsive to student diversity. Target the choices you make to the age/content that you teach. If you teach adolescents, you might focus on the power of language to include or exclude. If you teach young children, you might focus on strategies for learning to include others in games at recess. Choose one idea and develop it well, ensuring that you are detailing both why you have chosen it and how you would enact it.
Part 4: Family/Student Support (3a InTASC)
You will write this piece of your advocacy action plan as a recommendation to your administration or school grade level team to support family/community collaboration to meet student learning needs. If you work in an educational setting outside of a school, please adjust the audience of your piece accordingly (you might write this for a manager or supervisor instead of principal).
Reflecting on the resources and community supports that you identified during the course readings and activities, identify three effective ways to involve or include families in your students’ learning experiences. Address how these will provide opportunities for family engagement that may not be typically present in your school/educational setting (do not just report on what currently exists in the school site). Be sure that these are approaches that foster collaboration with families and can or would be supported by your school/educational site.
Part 5: Identifying Your Role as an Educational Advocate for Students
Throughout this course, you have developed a set of skills that deepens your understanding about your students and their lives and the impact that your teaching has on their experiences. What are you going to do with this knowledge? Educators are advocates for their students by default—you can choose to be proactive with this knowledge and work in areas/issues that are particularly meaningful for you. What role do you choose to take? How do you intend to advocate for your students? Identify at least two ways that you believe you can be a voice for your students and discuss how you envision yourself taking on this role.
Note: Please submit the entire advocacy action plan as one Word file with clear headers to identify each part of the plan. Please be sure to include appropriate in-text citations and references at the end of each section (not at the end of the entire plan) to support your ideas.
This course includes this assignment as a critical assessment documenting your learning on the national standards described below. For information on the critical assessment policy, please review the course syllabus. Be sure to review the rubric for the assignment.
Standard #3: Learning Environments
The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- 3(a) The teacher collaborates with learners, families, and colleagues to build a safe, positive learning climate of openness, mutual respect, support, and inquiry.
- 3(l) The teacher understands how learner diversity can affect communication and knows how to communicate effectively in differing environments.
- 3(o) The teacher values the role of learners in promoting each other’s learning and recognizes the importance of peer relationship in establishing a climate of learning.
Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and action on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
- 9(e) The teacher reflects on his/her personal biases and accesses resources to deepen his/her own understanding of cultural, ethnic, gender, and learning differences to build stronger relationships and create more relevant learning experiences.
- 9(i) The teacher understands how personal identity, worldview, and prior experience affect perceptions and expectations, and recognizes how they may bias behaviors and interactions with others.
Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.